Maybe some of you have come up with someone you know who has SSD, or perhaps you yourself have SSD. It is NOT unusual because according to this study it is estimated that more than 7% of adults in U.S. have certain degree of SSD!!

To most people this number might be beyond imagination. Some might say there are not so much people with SSD around them. However, even though you think none of your acquaintances have SSD, it does not mean that they actually do not have SSD. Unlike people with bilateral hearing loss whose both ears are impaired, people with SSD can hardly be distinguished in daily lives because they act and speak normally. Besides, In fact, many of people with SSD are reluctant to tell others about their symptoms. Some people say it is hard to talk about SSD even with their best friend.

This may be one reason problems of SSD is not fully recognized by many people.


Among all the problems people with SSD have, what they are suffering from most is inability to tell speech in noisy situations. In social situations like parties, they are really struggling to hear what others say, and sometimes miss words spoken to them.

People with SSD are always in the risk of ignoring someone calling or talking to them. To avoid it in social situations like parties, they try to do what few things they can, like sitting at the certain corner of the table so that voices of all other people come from the angle they can hear from. Sadly, however, these are not enough. Many of people with SSD recognize this, but can do nothing more, feeling sorry for people around them.


Where the speech recognition probem people with SSD have comes from?
There are some reasons why humans have two ears.

  • Left ear catches sound from the left side and right ear catches sound from the right side more efficiently. Having two ears enables us to listen to sound coming from wide range of angle.
  • When listening to a weak sound source, sounds arrived to two ears are summed up so that it can be listened more clearly.
  • Sound localization ability is increased using two ears. Imagine stereo audio recordings. By just using two microphones when recording, the information where the sound came from is preserved pretty well.
  • Our brains make use of two ears in order to selectively listen to what we want to listen (e.g. speech) and filter out unwanted sound.

Losing hearing from one ear means that all these features of our ears become completely or partially unavailable. In fact, people with SSD have more difficulty listening to speech in noisy situations than many people think.


Is there no solution for this problem? Actually there are. The most powerful solution for SSD is hearing aids.
Hearing aids for severe SSD is called CROS (Contralateral Routing Of Signals) hearing aids. A normal hearing aids picks sound coming from the impaired ear and transmits amplified sound to that ear. In contrast, CROS hearing aids pick sound coming from the impaired ear and transmit it to the other ear that is functioning. If the hearing in one ear is severely impaired, even a high-power normal hearing aid is not sufficient. Using CROS hearing aids solves the problem by transmitting sound to the functioning ear.
The downsides of CROS hearing aids are their price and appearance. CROS hearing aids are very expensive like normal hearing aids, around $1000 - $3000. CROS hearing aids look identical to normal hearing aids, and many of people with SSD do not dare to wear hearing aids while they can listen to sound without hearing aids.
Thus, we thought that affordable and stylish solution is needed. This is why we are developing asEars.